More than a decade after sharing the screen in the record-breaking Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite for this adaptation of Richard Yates's novel. This drama about a married couple in the 1950s is directed by Winslet's husband, Oscar winner Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Road to Perdition).
In Revolutionary Road, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunite for the first time since their careers exploded with Titanic--and it's almost as if they're playing the same characters, only married and faced with the hollowness of a 1950s suburban existence. Frank and April Wheeler (DiCaprio and Winslet) always thought of themselves as special, but they settled in a conventional Connecticut suburb when they had children. Hungry for a less constricted life, April persuades Frank to move to Paris--but slowly their plans unravel and their marriage unravels along with it. While Revolutionary Road may be a bit too glib about suburban emptiness--the lives Frank and April lead don't seem so stifled--the portrait of a mismatched marriage is vivid and devastating. The ways that Frank and April misinterpret each other, and the subtle yet unbearable dissatisfaction they feel, is rendered with remarkable and unsettling acuteness. Winslet and DiCaprio's natural chemistry tells us what drew these two together, making the way they tear each other apart all the more shocking. The excellent supporting cast includes Kathy Bates (Misery), Dylan Baker (Happiness), and especially Michael Shannon (Bug) as a mentally troubled mathematician who cuts to the quick of the Wheelers' troubles. Mention must be made of the beautiful production design; the costumes and sets are simply gorgeous. --Bret Fetzer